Best Ways to Enhance Your Vocabulary
- Dec 29, 2014
Ayesha was at a loss for words. To make matters worse, she continued stammering as she tried to answer the interviewer’s questions. Now, don’t think she was slow-witted, or nervous. This young lady had completed her MBA and was looking forward to a bright opportunity in the corporate world. She had left no stones unturned in preparing for the interview. Alas! Her vocabulary betrayed her on the fateful day. And, she lost the chance of a lifetime!
Needless to say, Ayesha is not the only victim of poor vocabulary. Embarrassment is a common emotion which grips most of us, when we frantically search for “that perfect word” – and end up swallowing our breadths in utter failure. So, it’s time to improve your stock of words my friends. Firstly, it would help you understand and analyze test questions better. Secondly, it would enable you to speak with more coherence. Last but not the least, it would boost your writing skills considerably.
Never forget one thing: building vocabulary is a continuous process. I mean, put a full-stop to learning new words and phrases, and you perish! Let me share the best ways to enhance your vocab, in the next few paragraphs:
- Read more to learn more: The ‘Gospel truth’ and the master key to learning new words is reading more and more. Read anything and everything you can lay your hands on – from novels to newspapers, magazines to the latest movie reviews, high-quality blogs and much more. Make notes of the words which sound alien to you. And, look up their definitions from a good dictionary. As you read through sentences, also pay attention to their context. Observe how they have been used. Beginners can start by reading about things which interest them, slowly progressing with more challenging materials.
- Associate words: Making associations is a smart trick which can aide you in remembering the meaning of new words which you find tough. For instance, the word ‘gargantuan’ sounds similar to ‘gigantic’. Also, both imply the same meaning. You can even link this word to a proper noun, or rhyme it with similar words. There are certain memory tricks too, which would cooperate with you as you struggle to memorize the meanings of new, redundant words.
- Use technology: Don’t tell me you are technologically-handicapped! You don’t need to be tech-savvy to extract technology’s maximum benefits. I am sure you watch films and television shows. And, I am double sure you enjoy an uninterrupted access to the Internet. So, exploit these resources of technology to the hilt. Listen to native speakers of the language who want to know better about, when you switch on your television. Several online dictionaries send you new words regularly, after you subscribe to their e-mail lists. You can also watch YouTube videos which provide exclusive tips to build vocab.
- Play games: Why not try out some exciting word games to discover new words and their meanings? Games like Boggle, Scrabble, crossword puzzles, anagrams, etc. are really fun. What’s more, they also help you combat stress and boredom! Some dictionaries offer you in-built word games. You can also log into the Internet, to collect more such interesting word games. So, next time your friend invites you to his place for some word games, don’t laugh it off.
- Keep practicing: Stop being lazy and start practicing now. You all must be familiar with the popular idiom, ‘practice makes a man perfect’. What is the use of learning new words daily, if you keep forgetting them? Research states that a word requires at least 10 to 20 repetitions to penetrate your personal vocabulary. Speaking about practice, I have an idea which would truly help you. Write down the new words in a notebook, along with their meanings. Make it a point to review this list of words regularly. In addition, try to implement the words in your normal speech, or while writing essays. This will help you retain them in your memory permanently.
- Make the dictionary your best friend: Apart from the tips mentioned above, I would like to suggest yet another one. Always keep a dictionary close to you. As you stumble over new terms, just leaf through the dictionary and study their meanings, and look how they are being used. This is a great way to construct a good vocab.
Do not wait for tomorrow. Remember, today is the best day to start learning. Because, just like there is no substitute to hard work, there is no other replacement for a great vocabulary. So, arm yourself with as many fresh words as you can – for a smart command over a language can open many doors of success for you!
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